Finance/CRA’s implied sunset for the COVID-19 lockdowns of June 20 is not pollyannish

I will pretend that this post has something to do with tax.

The new temporary COVID-19 wage subsidy announced by Finance and CRA implicitly assumes that relief is only required until June 20, 2020. The article linked below, which was recommended to professional staff by the Chief of Surgery at a downtown hospital, suggests that indeed it may be possible by then to lift the fairly severe lockdown (referred to as the “hammer”) in places like Ontario - and then shift to something referred to as the “dance.”

Provided that the hammer has been successful in reducing the reproduction rate well below 1 to, say, a rate of 0.3, then the outbreak will be well under control after about 5 weeks. Once the number of active cases is substantially reduced at about that point, there can be a switch over to the dance, which only requires that the reproduction rate be kept to slightly under 1.00. This can be done with milder social distancing (that permits most people to get back to regular work) and doing things like testing and contact tracing to a South Korean standard.

The article is highly critical of the U.S. “mitigation” approach which, it is suggested, will result in millions of unnecessary deaths if it continues to be pursued. (This implies that Trudeau did the right thing in agreeing to partially close the border.)

Neal Armstrong